Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 19:55:37 -1000 From: MARK SHORT (MARKESHORT@worldnet.att.net> Subject: Moanalua Valley
Headed up Moanalua Valley at about 10:10 am, following the directions in Stuart Ball's Hikers Guide to Oahu.
It was a perfect day with pale blue skies and just the right temperature and breeze. Walked on a beautiful dirt/gravel road for 1 hr not counting as I crossed the stream full of crystal clear water ten times. At the eleventh crossing I realized that I was next to a middle ridge and had gone too far.
Back tracked for about 5 minutes looking for the Koa tree with old vertical blaze. Found a trail near a Koa tree but there was no blaze. Went on this trail and immediately crossed the stream and went up the bank on the other side. There was no junction as mentioned in HGTO, is this the right trail? Continued a short distance, skirting the foot of the middle ridge and saw the gauging station. Yup, this is it. Made my way through a very overgrown forest. Saw the pool at the 6th crossing.
Many Hau groves required much ducking and body twisting. Passed #9 of 23 stream crossings and found a junction going left. Continued on the muddy, slippery barely visible at times trail. I had taken the insoles out of my Land Sharks and left them at home so today I was wearing my Walmart Teva copies. This did not lead to muck confidence in the trail. However my hiking pole saved me from falling several times. These Hau groves are making me a bit claustrophobic.
Before the 18th stream crossing there is a pig skull on a stick. For some reason it makes me think of Hot Dog on a Stick.
At the 21st? crossing is a small pool & tiny water fall. I stop here to eat an apple, wash my feet & legs and put socks on with my sandals. I'm getting blisters on my toes. As I continue I hear a gooselike noise and see awkward flapping in the tree tops. I can't be sure but are there Nene in the back of Moanalua Valley. I saw them at Kalalau so it sure seems possible.
Before the 22nd crossing I see what looks like plane wreckage to the right. I go check it out. Looks like a piece of the aluminum wing about 3x4 and something else.
After the 23rd crossing I begin to climb a ridge to the summit. It is a short climb and feels like a big green escalator going up just for this purpose. the is a similar escalator to the left and right. Soon I'm at the summit with Haiku Valley, H-3, Omega Station & Kaneohe Town below. It is a very nice view without the strong wind I've been getting used to. I try to see the stairs without success. If someone was climbing them they'd probably be obvious.
The trip down the escalator is treacherous. The high intermittent waterfall is making a lovely sound with about a 6 inch stream making the long drop. I can't see my feet and its slippery and the plant life is trying to trip me. Once down, the trail back goes by very quickly, the walk on the road seems to take forever. I reach my car at 3:15.